recycling at csc

In an effort to reduce our environmental impact Colby-Sawyer College continues to expand its recycling and composting programs on campus and encourages students, faculty and staff to do what they can to keep organic and reusable materials out of the landfills. It is essential that we make wise use of the natural resources that are available to us and make sure we don't consume those resources faster than they can regenerate.

What Can I Recycle in "Zero-Sort" Bins on Campus?

Since August 1, 2011 Colby-Sawyer College has worked with Casella Waste Systems to process trash and recyclables that are organized by student workers and collected by our Housekeeping staff. Casella uses a specialized "Zero-Sort" system that allows us to put all of the standard recyclables into just one container. This switch has enabled us to recycle a larger variety of materials with even less hassle. Click on Zero-Sort Recycling at CSC to view the list of what can and cannot go into those zero-sort bins, or check out the signs located in every building at every recycling collection center.

What Else Can I Recycle at Colby-Sawyer College?

In addition to traditional recyclables we collect many other materials that require specialized handling. Click here to learn more about Hard(er)-to-Recycle Items at CSC. If you have a hard-to-recycle item that you're trying to find a home for, please contact our Recycling Coordinator, Janet St. Laurent, at 526-3690 or email her here:

Where Do I Bring My Recycling?

There are recycling stations in every residence hall and administrative building, and some buildings have stations on several floors. Please help us create a successful program by keeping those areas tidy and recycling whatever you can. And click here to find out Where to Recycle at CSC and click here for Recycling in the Residence Halls.

What About Composting?

According to the EPA, yard waste and food scraps make up 26 percent of household waste. In addition to taking up unnecessary space in landfills, when those organic materials decompose anaerobically (without oxygen) they produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. When we collect and compost those materials we can save money on hauling fees, reduce our contribution to climate change, and produce better soil to use right here on campus.

Sodexo Dining Hall's Chows for Sows program currently keeps organic materials out of the waste stream by putting it into the bellies of local pigs. Facilities collects leaves and other plant material and turns it into compost that is added to campus landscaping projects. And several Departments on campus have their own Vermicompost Bins that use worms to break down the food waste and when it's ready the compost is added to the Anne Baynes Hall Seedling Lot and Organic Garden. Compost bins are located in the Environmental Studies Green Suite, with Information Resources in the Library, in College Communications, and at Student Development. If you want to learn more about getting a compost bin for your building or department please email Professor Leon-C. Malan at

The Six Rs

Recycling on its own is just not sufficient anymore. By now most of us have heard of the "Three Rs": Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, but there are three more Rs to keep in mind as we seek to make significant progress in eliminating waste and stopping pollution.

  1. Refuse: The average U.S. citizen consumes about twice as much as we did 50 years ago, so before making your next purchase, ask yourself if you really need it. Try to buy less stuff. Everything we purchase or use takes energy and natural resources to produce and keep running, so when you Refuse you save money and help the planet.

  2. Reduce: To reduce the amount of waste we generate consider buying in bulk and looking for ways to buy things with less packaging. We can also considering Reducing the amount of toxins we're responsible for generating, the amount of extra miles we drive, and the amount of paper we use.

  3. Repair: Before you get rid of that item with the broken whatchamahoozit and spend money on a new one, see if it's possible to fix it and give it a second life. Remember that old Yankee adage: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do."

  4. Reuse: Many things can be reused by someone else (like hand-me-down clothes) and other items can be adapted to new uses (like the sap bucket with a hole in the bottom that becomes a flower pot.) Use empty food containers or jars for storage of leftovers, nuts and bolts, or paper clips.

  5. Recycle: The list of what can be recycled in communities is growing all the time, so before you throw it away make sure there isn't a market for it. Remember that you can also Recycle non-traditional items such as eyeglasses, cell phones and ink cartridges too.

  6. Rebuy: In order for recycling to be profitable and accessible it's important that we support these efforts by buying materials (carpets, clothing, paper, etc.) that are manufactured with recycled content. You can also Rebuy items by going to thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales.